The Mace: Symbol of Congress' Authority

The mace is the symbol of authority of the Senate. Its symbolism strongly holds for the authority of the President of the Senate. It is also the authority of the Sergeant-at-Arms when enforcing order in the Senate. The mace is an essential part of the regalia of the Senate. Without it, the Senate is not considered to be properly constituted. When the Senate is in session, the mace is displayed at the Senate President’s rostrum. Otherwise, it is kept under the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
The Sergeant-at-Arms, custodian of the mace, is charged with its use when necessary to preserve order. When the occasion calls for it, or when there is disorder in the session hall, he shall lift the mace from its pedestal and present it before an unruly member in order to restore order or quell boisterous behavior in the Chamber.

SOURCES: "Symbols of Authority". Senate of the Philippines; www.senate.gov.ph/about/symbols%20of%20authority.asp; https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/JV_Ejercito_at_Philippine_Senate_rostrum.jpg.

The mace symbolizes the legislative authority of the House of Representatives. As stipulated in Section 165 of the House Rules, it is displayed at the foot of the Speaker's rostrum whenever the House is in session and is used by the Sergeant-at-Arms in to enforce order in the House upon the Speaker's instruction. The Sergeant-at-Arms has the custody of the mace.

In accordance with the House Rules, on the rare occasion that a member becomes unruly, the Sergeant at Arms, upon order of the Speaker, lifts the mace from its pedestal and presents it before the offenders, thereby restoring order. The mace was used to restore order on the House floor on May 26, 2004, during the joint session of Congress to approve the proposed rules on the canvassing of votes for the recently concluded presidential and vice-presidential elections. This is after Maguindanao representative Didagen Dilangalen and presiding officer and then Deputy Speaker Raul Gonzalez had a verbal tussle when the latter refused to discipline an observer in the gallery who sent Dilangalen a note that says "shut up" while interpellating Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis Pangilinan. (Christine O. AvendaƱo and Cynthia D. Balana (26 May 2004). "Uproar over note postpones, Congress vote on canvass". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 21 June 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2020.)

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